DnD drawing WIP feedback welcome!

  • Hi everyone, I watched some creative composition videos and it’s really helped me fixed some stuff but before I move any further with this piece I’d like some feedback on it. Specifically I’m worried about the treasure chest pulling away from the focus of the child adventurer. I made the giant axe create a weird arch around the kid deliberately and when coloring I’m going to try and direct the view towards the adventurer by using warmer colors or maybe make the shield an accent color. How do you guys think I should approach the tones and the colors to keep the chest a focal point but not the main one? Also any other feedback on the environment or anything else is welcome too. Like should I even make an environment or just draw the characters? Please and thank you! (It’s going to be a giant skeleton and tiny adventurer)


  • @swordofodin yeah, the creative composition course really gave me a boost, too. It's amazing how a house tends to stand up a lot better if you get the foundation right 😉

    I think the treasure chest is fine where it is. I think you've go the right idea moving it back a little with cooler colours.

    It works with and without the environment. If you wanna make this a spot illustration I think it'll stand on its own 🙂

    The big issue that stands out to me is that the skeleton's foreground leg is WAY bigger than the rear leg. I'd also watch that potential tangent of the top of the axe and the skeletons eye/cheek. Also the kid's shield and the bottom of his body (though that may just be sketchy lines I'm misinterpreting)

    The little adventurer is adorable, though 🙂 I'm planning on doing kid DND characters next, so this is some nice inspiration!

  • @Art-of-B This is great feedback thanks! Yeah Dnd kids is a fun art challenge. I think originally I wanted it to stand on its own. But I’m very bad at creating environments and I guess I’m trying to challenge get myself a bit but I need more practice.

  • @swordofodin said in DnD drawing WIP feedback welcome!:

    But I’m very bad at creating environments and I guess I’m trying to challenge get myself a bit but I need more practice.

    Welp, better do that background, then 😃 I found the best way to get better at backgrounds was to do more (also to make sure it was in the thumbnail and really fleshing it out in the comp sketches)

    Did you do thumbnails and a comp sketch before this one?

  • @Art-of-B Yes I did do thumbnails I makght do some more thought because I don’t think this works. I have a few other ideas. Might do a few little mage towers instead of a random chest that way the focus will be more on the characters, but Progress so far:


  • @swordofodin I feel like the axe head may be an issue when you add value as it will really add a lot of weight to the left side but overall I like the characters

  • @rcartwright good point. I was trying to use the bottom curve of the axe as a frame for the little adventurer. Maybe if I play with the shape more. Thank you!

  • @rcartwright @Art-of-B ok so I think these changes have helped. I made the axe smaller, and gave it some textures so it doesn’t draw the eyes as much. It feels like mr skelington draws the eye at first but since he’s looking at the little adventurer it goes there next. The clouds i used to create some mood and to help frame the kid better. Mage tower with birbs in the background rather than a giant treasure test. I really tried to knock out the tangents before figuring out tone and stuff. Please let me know your thoughts ❤

  • @swordofodin This looks very much improved in my opinion

  • I think that reads better than the first. Maybe you want the contrast between the character and background higher than between the tower and other background elements though? Maybe use the darkest dark somewhere in the character and push the tower into the midtones? Or move the overall background to a lower value for more contrast with the character which is higher value?

    If you want the focus on the tiny character maybe even put the dark tower directly behind her so her outline stands out strongly.

  • @thiskatecreates hmm ok. So bigger contrast on the kiddo less on skelington. Does this read ok?


  • Definitely see the kiddo pops more now. I'm excited to see how it comes together after so much work on the composition. 🙂

  • @thiskatecreates you and me both...

  • Ok so now that im happy with the digital version, started redrawing it on paper.. i missed you paper. This is mainly so i can ink it. Wish me luck.


  • @thiskatecreates @rcartwright @Art-of-B ok everyone.. i redrew it with pencil, scanned it in prep for inking. What do you guys think so far? 0_1544679719696_Kid adventurer pencil.jpg

  • Definitely coming along. I'm wondering if the tower even needs to be there though. When I see the full drawing it is detailed enough to feel like a main element. It looks really cool but if the story is "tiny knight trying to take skeletal warrior at swordpoint" does it feed the story/idea and add to composition?

    In the second post, before changing to the tower, you had greyed out/added atmospheric perspective to the background and that brought the focus to the characters. If you use color and/or line weight, depending on how you work, to push the tower back that will leave the focus on the characters and still keep the cool, creepy background.

    Stapleton Kearns is a landscape painter who doesn't really post anymore, but he has a funny series on design problems. The competing elements he calls the "one for each eye" problem. https://stapletonkearns.blogspot.com/2011/05/encyclopedia-of-dumb-design-ideas-4.html

    He's a bit harsh, but I find his "Encyclopedia of Dumb Design Ideas" really stuck with me and I see all of them trying to show up in my compositions sometimes....

    The story you are telling and both the characters and background are really excellent . The facial expressions and body language have it. If you edit further I would only focus on drawing the eye to the action.

  • Hi @swordofodin I like the style and how its shaping. I like the comp - It makes nice cycling pattern - the little guy - skeleton head - the castle. But the birds that are flying of the page and the dead tree behind the skeleton guy is breaking the flow - my eye is trapped there. Imo I would erase these two elements.

    Other than that I really like it and I am looking forward how you will conquer this further

  • @thiskatecreates @Jonas-Zavacky this is amazing feedback thank you guys so much. Gonna get right on that!

  • @swordofodin Very nice is there a reason you like to use traditional ink? Have tried finishing a piece digitally?

  • @rcartwright Thanks! Yeah I have done several finished digital pieces using the procreate app on my ipad. There's some on my instagram. I just like the feeling of making something on paper with pencil and ink. It just makes me feel way more accomplished for some reason? That's just me though. For this one I will probably ink it on paper, scan it in and color it digitally.

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